Ordinance Turns Restaurant Owners' Stomachs

The ordinance's sponsor hopes aldermen debate proposal next month

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Tuesday, Dec 14, 2010  |  Updated 4:15 PM CDT
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Brick-and-mortar restaurant owners want to send back an ordinance they claim will eat into their sales.

Opponents are trying to table a Chicago City Council proposal legalizing mobile food trucks. They're arguing it would create an "unlevel playing field", the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

"Every dollar I lose in sales to a food truck down the street costs me 50 cents in profit," said Dan Rosenthal,  owner of Sopraffina Marketcaffe and Trattoria No. 10 restaurants. "It doesn't take a lot of decline in sales for restaurants to go out of business, particularly in this economy." 

At least one mobile food truck owner thinks some restaurant owners are acting like difficult customers.

"If they're worried about competition, maybe they need to look at their concept," said Matt Maroni, Gaztro-Wagon chef and owner.

The city currently allows mobile food trucks to sell pre-packaged items.

However, the proposal would permit trucks to serve up food cooked on site and require trucks to have at least three sinks for sanitation purposes.

The ordinance's sponsor, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd), told the Sun-Times he hopes his colleagues debate the ordinance next month.

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